But, why bother?
I get the sense Steinlager exists more for the sports promotion opportunities it apparently provides than as a genuine attempt at making a decent beer. In New Zealand, it sponsors practically every type of sporting event the small nation can come up with. They may as well let Budweiser handle that end because the beer needs their undivided attention.
Coming from a country like New Zealand, land of manly men and heavy beer drinkers, it’s almost shocking something like Steinlager is the main import from that wild place. It is not wild. Nor manly. And most real beer drinkers aren’t going to be impressed, no matter how many rugby matches it stages. Or is it Australia I’m thinking of? If New Zealand really is the weak sister and home of little hobbits and elves, then this beer is perfectly representative.
It actually starts out very promising. It’s a deeper gold than many lagers. Nice foamy head. The aroma is interesting, leading one to believe something special awaits. It smells of fresh grass. Lots of herbs. It smells like Hobbit country, and there‘s nothing wrong with that.
Then the promise starts to fade. The head quickly vanishes. Still tons of bubbles, it’s very carbonated, but it looks like golden cola more than beer. Still, with so much going for it, it must be good, right? Well, no.
The first eager sip seems to have been missed completely. You try again, but that taste, too, is elusive. Then you realize it’s not you, it’s the so-called beer. It tastes as if it’s watered down, and very light. It’s very much on the weak side. A slight, sweet taste. Of cider maybe? Soft. All the tastes seem to linger well in the background, and there is no foreground. That’s followed by…nothing at all. None of that nice bitter aftertaste a good lager should have. The kind that keeps you coming back for more. This is more along the lines of beer flavored water.
It comes in those lousy green bottles, but this is one beer you might hope is a little skunked. At least that would bring something to the taste, anything. At 5% alcohol, it’s deceptively strong then, because it tastes like it could be 2%. I’ve never felt like having many of these back to back, so I wouldn’t know, but they may want to recheck their calibrations.
I suppose it’s a beer that would be meant for sitting around the ’barbie’ with a cheeseburger. It’ll be alright for that sort of thing. Treat it and expect it to be along the lines of the typically wan and flavorless American beers, and you won’t be so disappointed. Except with the price. There’s no point in paying the premium import fee for this swill. It’s nothing special at all.
Steinlager isn’t awful. It doesn’t live up to New Zealand’s reputation nor even its own initial appearance. It’s an okay lager that leans too much towards its rather generic American cousins. I could see where certain types of women may enjoy this beer. The type that likes the image of themselves drinking a beer, without actually having one. So for them, and any man that may feel the same, enjoy. But, why?